Which photo backdrop stand is best?
Are you a professional photographer looking to prepare your studio or find a background for an outdoor portrait shoot? You’ve likely thought about buying a photo backdrop stand. Instead of having to change locations or shoot on a plain wall, you can take pictures with just about any background that can be hung on a stand. What’s more, you can change backgrounds quickly and easily. For professional quality and durability, the Limo Studio Heavy-Duty Backdrop ranks as a top pick.
What to know before you buy a photo backdrop stand
The materials that make up your backdrop stand will help determine its weight limit, general strength and durability. Typically, the tubing that makes up a frame isn’t made of just one material, but rather a mix. This ensures strength, flexibility and sturdiness. There are two categories of frames, largely based on the materials they’re constructed with:
- Heavy: Heavyweight steel frames are designed for photography studios, where they will be installed and rarely (if ever) moved. On the plus side, they’re sturdy, have a high weight limit and are built to last. However, they’re difficult to assemble. They often require multiple pairs of hands to set u, and they’re heavy. Because of this, they’re not best for outdoor or mobile shoots.
- Lightweight: Aluminum, composite, or PVC frames, on the other hand, are made for movable sets. They’re easier to carry, assemble and disassemble. The downsides are their smaller dimensions and decreased weight capacity.
Unless you consistently work with a handful of set backdrops you know the weight of, you’re going to want a stand that can hold up more weight. That way, it can accommodate any new photo backdrops you decide to incorporate into your shoots. The material used is important, but the size and dimensions of a stand also determine its capacity load. While lightweight rigs are more easily to move around for mobile shoots, their weight limit is less. For studio backdrop stands, it’s safer to invest in a heavier rig.
Width, height and adjustability
While the frame itself won’t be visible in your photos, that doesn’t mean that its shape, make and size don’t matter. Its width capacity has to match the size of your photo backdrops. Most stands have a width of around 8 to 10 feet, but frames with sliding tubes can extend even farther. Similarly, the maximum height ranges from 5 to 10 feet. Be sure that the maximum height and width of a stand will fit even your longest or widest backdrops.
What to look for in a quality photo backdrop stand
Clamps attach the backdrop to the stand itself. Some kits don’t contain enough clamps, so buy some to attach the backdrop to the tubing.
Travel bags and similar protective gear is ideal for mobile rigs. They keep the parts dry, rust-free and clean while also making for a convenient place to store clamps and extra tubing.
For extendible rigs, extra tubing gives you the flexibility of adding length to the height or width of the frame.
How much you can expect to spend on a photo backdrop stand
Photo backdrop stands cost $50-$100. Lightweight and smaller rigs cost less, whereas heavy-duty stands with wider or taller frames cost more.
Photo backdrop stand FAQ
What are some tips for using my photo backdrop stand?
A. There’s a lot you can do to get the most out of your stand.
- For small subjects (like children), a smaller backdrop fits; for larger ones, choose a proportionally larger backdrop size.
- Angling the backdrop can create a cool visual effect in your photographs.
- Consider combining props or creative lighting with your photo backdrop.
Is it difficult to assemble a backdrop stand?
A. No frame comes fully assembled, so expect to have at least a few pieces to put together when assembling your stand. Lightweight frames are typically OK for one person to put together. If you’re a single photographer without a crew, they’re the best. Heavy-duty frames often need the help of at least one person, since linking the bar to the supports can take a bit of strength and coordination.
What’s the best photo backdrop stand to buy?
Top photo backdrop stand
What you need to know: This strong photo stand won’t buckle under the weight of wide, heavy backdrops.
What you’ll love: Weighty backdrops are safe to hang from these sturdy crossbars. The mounted tripod stand will hold steady on nearly any flat surface, soft or solid. It comes with a protective carrying bag.
What you should consider: Some buyers find it frustrating that the center crossbars don’t lock into place, so a strong push or wind could have them shaking.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top photo backdrop stand for the money
What you need to know: For photographers on a budget, this reliable backdrop will do the trick.
What you’ll love: The crossbars interlock with a sliding motion to keep everything in place even when holding up a heavy backdrop. The frame is wide enough to accommodate most backdrops.
What you should consider: It may be necessary to have the help of more than one person to be able to set up this backdrop stand.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This lightweight stand makes for both a great addition to a professional studio and a good breakthrough purchase for a beginning photographer.
What you’ll love: It’s lightweight and easy to assemble by oneself, making it ideal for mobile shoots and single photographers. It comes as a kit, including a travel bag and clamps.
What you should consider: The case tends to fray easily and seems poorly made.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Micayla Mead writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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